Seattle React.js April Meetup

I had the pleasure tonight to attend the Seattle React.js April Meetup. It was hosted by Textio, who have created an augmented writing platform for creating highly effective job listings and who provided a light dinner; and Galvanize, who provide a dynamic learning community for technology and who also provide space for the event.

Host Lee Ngo, from Galvanize, started the evening by introducing Stephan Prockow, the Seattle React.js Meetup organizer. After the greetings and salutations were complete, he introduced the first guest speaker, Max Winderbaum of Textio.

Winderbaum talked about how to create lovely rich-text editors using draft-js, a JavaScript rich text editor framework, built for React and backed by an immutable model. Textio began their text editor by trying to utilize the HTML tag < contenteditable> to highlight or do other rich text enhancements. After starting down the path of writing their own solution, they found Facebook was already providing something very close to what they were trying to accomplish. State becomes immutable and atomic. It renders to all browsers the same way. And, best of all, the state is separate from the view, which facilitates testing. draft-js nicely supports plugins like draft-js-plugins. Winderbaum warned us to keep an eye out for new kid, slatejs.org. There’s always something new on the horizon for JavaScript.

The second presentation was about using react-apollo with graphql. Presenter Greg Hardin, of IceBrg.io, offered as an example a lookup from a collection of books. He covered the details of how react-apollo is integrated into the code and also cited some tools that can help with setup, such as Scaphold. Hardin explained some benefits of react-apollo with less boilerplate, the ability to run multiple named queries in the same space, mutations that an be separated from queries, and the fact that it is already integrated with redux.

mobx is another alternative to working in react. High Seas Consulting‘s Bryan Brophy gave a compelling talk on the ease of use of mobx, whose goal is simple, scalable state management. In an entertaining demo that used the Beatles as an example for band members changing state over time, Brophy showed the basic usage of mobx, including injecting stores, actions, and observers to keep the state up-to-date. It is certainly something I will look at seriously before making my next major software updates.

I’m happy I was able to be present for this well-attended event. The speakers were well-versed in their respective technologies and I learned a lot. Thanks so much to the hosts, Galvanize and Textio, and the event organizers at Seattle React.js Meetup. When video of the talks is available, I’ll add a link to it here.

Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

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